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Crowns

What is a crown?

A crown is a cap that is placed over a tooth and held in place by dental adhesive or cement.

Crowns are used for several reasons:

  • as a protective cover for badly decayed teeth or fractured teeth
  • as a permanent restoration for teeth with large fillings
  • to correct minor problems in natural teeth like spacing and irregular shape or severe discolouration.

What are crowns made from?

Crowns can be made from a variety of materials.  They can be made from plastic, ceramic or metal alloys.

The latest technology has made it possible to use all ceramic crowns without the need for an underlying core of metal which can contribute to the grey line near the gum often associated with older crowns.

How are crowns made?

Firstly, a thorough clinical examination is conducted with radiographs, by the dentist.  The suitability for crowns is assessed and any preparatory work is carried out.  Your dentist will also be able to advise on material choices, treatment sequence and any other concerns you may have.

The tooth indicated for crowning is reduced in size and impressions are then transferred to a skilled dental technician. From the resultant models, the technician will make a bespoke crown that is then fitted onto the tooth, restoring the natural form and creating a strong protective barrier against future wear and tear.

How long do crowns last and how do I care for them?

Crowns are made of inert materials that do not deteriorate over time. However, the underlying tooth is still prone to decay and gum disease.

Ceramic on the surface may chip or fracture. Avoid chewing excessively-hard substances like ice or bones. Daily brushing and flossing are essential for maintaining good oral health as well as keeping the crown trouble-free. The most vulnerable portion of the crown is the margin or the junction between tooth and crown.

Regular check-ups will enable your dentist to detect any problems with your crown and recommend necessary treatment.

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